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Vatican at the center of a money laundering investigation

The details are murky — that’s always how it is with these clowns — but apparently a lot of money was being moved in and out of a Vatican account managed by JP Morgan and various European money centers, most of them in Germany. The pattern of brisk credits and transfers is reportedly similar to those that often draw the attention of money laundering investigators. The process is known affectionately by accountants as sweeping:

(DailyBeast) — There is nothing illegal about the use of sweeping facilities, but in the case of the JPMorgan Chase account, the fact that Vatican bankers couldn’t quite explain the reason they moved so much money in such a short period of time led the bank to close the account. The closure is the product of an ongoing investigation into the Vatican’s alleged creative accounting that began in September 2010 when tax police in Rome froze $33 million in Vatican assets after a covert investigation raised eyebrows about the way the church moves its millions and keeps its accounting. The assets were eventually released in June 2011, but the investigation is ongoing.

Comments

  1. noastronomer says

    “The details are murky…”

    Which is in fact the whole point of money laundering. The murkier the better.

  2. d cwilson says

    The closure is the product of an ongoing investigation into the Vatican’s alleged creative accounting that began in September 2010 when tax police in Rome froze $33 million in Vatican assets after a covert investigation raised eyebrows about the way the church moves its millions and keeps its accounting.

    Maybe the Vatican should move its assets to banks here in America where the tax police (ie, the IRS) never even blinks at the amount of money churches rake in.

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